Monday, May 31, 2010

Bump Watch

And so begins month 7... 28 weeks! The pregnancy is going so fast. I can't believe we're already entering the third trimester.

We had a nice Memorial Day weekend with friends and family. My girlfriends sat out in the heat and humidity with me on Sunday so I wouldn't have to breathe bar smoke. It was a fun day. We played cards and gabbed for five hours. We were hot, sweaty messes, but they assured me it was nice to get some sun.

Today, we took Stella to her first parade. She did well, but was really scared by the bands (especially the percussion). She doesn't ususally mind loud noises or thunderstorms, so we were pretty surprised. After the parade, she played outside almost the entire day and promptly passed out on the couch when we got home. So cute.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome back, feet

My feet have returned to their normal size. Sigh. I feel so much better.

It's hard to focus, let alone get things accomplished, when you're really, really ridiculously swollen. And hot. Swollen and hot are not a good combo for anyone.

But the humidity has dipped way down, and they're forecasting evening temps in the 50s tonight. Sleeping with the windows open again will thrill me beyond belief.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The big conversation

I did it. I told the boss I'm not coming back.

It was a good conversation. She said she was sad to lose me (natch), but that she wasn't surprised.

I tried to stress how great the job is, and how much I've learned in the past three years. She asked for my assistance with the transition, and even left to the door open to do some freelancing. I'm happy to be leaving on a good note.

So 12 more weeks of employment... then I'm a stay-at-home mom and part-time grad student. Crazy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pregnancy + Heat = Swollen

You should see how swollen my feet and ankles are. They're huge. Like HUGE. I feel like I'm hobbling around on stumps.

We have a mirror at the top of our staircase that reflects from the waist down. So every time I go up or down the stairs I catch a glimpse of my gigantic cankles. They're not pretty.

Ben reminds me that this heat is uncharacteristic for May, and even in August, this will probably be about the hottest it gets. Let's hope as the temperatures drop later this week, so do the size of my feet.

It's going to be a looooooong summer.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm kind of a big deal

In case you missed it, Kristy from the Wicked Noodle commented on one of my posts last week. OMG. I feel like I totally have blog cred.

Ben and I are huge fans of her recipe for Nana's Oatmeal Pancakes. We eat them with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. Delish. I will never use the "just add water" stuff again.

(Side note: You absolutely must use buttermilk as she says. Take my word for it.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Crash course in budgeting

Ben and I have never really had to stick to a budget. We both make a comfortable income, so our philosophy to date has been "save what you can, don't spend more than you make." We're not rolling in excess dough, but I also don't hesitate to buy the fancy artisan cheese at the farmer's market.

Though we've been married for almost three and a half years, we only recently consolidated bank accounts. And truly, only out of necessity given our fast-approaching one-income status. Not that I consider my money and his money to be seperate entities. Each of our salaries contributes to a piece of the collective household pie. But after I pay my share of the bills, I don't really care to have Ben know what I spend my money on. And visa versa. I don't understand the outrageous amount he paid for new golf clubs. And he doesn't understand the love affair between my Visa and J.Crew. It's just been nicer to keep our finances seperate.

We are fortunate that Ben's job provides me the opportunity to stay home with the baby. But it's going to be a big change. We will have a budget, a real budget, that I will have to track by saving receipts and recording expenses. We will have to give up some luxuries, like gym memberships, going out to eat, and cable. But there are some things I refuse to sacrifice, including:
  • Internet - I cannot possibly live without a high-speed internet connection. And though we're giving up cable, I can still watch my favorite shows online. Win/win.
  • Retirement Savings - Compound interest, people. Compound interest. Though we're still in our 20s, saving now will make a huge difference in our retirement nest egg. Ben will be contributing the maximum matched by his employer (it's free money!). And I will be rolling my accounts into an IRA. I hope to contribute my freelance income and other sources when I can.
  • Good Food - A gift handed down from my mother, I am a damn good cook. So while we can't eat out much (or ever), I can still make simple, delicious meals at home. This is one thing I want to keep up with to retain some sense of my former (pre-child) life. I am inspired by the Naptime Chef who prepares family meals during her daughter's naptime. Genius.
I'm sure there will be other daily luxuries I fight for, and a few that I just have to let go. Like showers. And sleep. Many new mothers tell me there's no way in hell I'm hanging on to either.

"Glowing" or some other term to make pregnant women feel less disgusting

I've never really been one to sweat. Even when exercising. Sure my face will get pink and my hair line will get a little damp. But I never really sweat.

Until now. Except it's not sweating when you're pregnant, it's "glowing". As if that's supposed to make it better. Well let me tell you... I "glow" like a pig.

We've had approximately 3 days of warm, summer weather. And I've been 100% miserable (and especially irritable) since. I'm hot all the time. I "glow" at my desk. In the car. Sitting on the couch. I feel so gross. I have a feeling I'll be taking showers three times a day pretty quick.

Needless to say, I'm really excited to be in my third trimester for the three hottest months of the year. Fair warning, Ben... our electric bill is going to be insane. I'm running the air conditioner 24/7.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

100 ramblings... and counting

100 posts already? Time flies when you're bearing an heir.

This blog has had quite an arc... from contemplating a baby, struggling to get pregnant, freaking out that I'm pregnant, figuring out life while pregnant, and now preparing for impending motherhood. It's been a crazy ride so far, but really fun to write it all down.

I used to find blogging very indulgent and self-absorbed. Who cares that much about your thoughts that you have to write them down every day? But for me, blogging has become very therapeutic. I love talking about my pregnancy (and the baby!). And with so many of our friends and family scattered across the country, it helps me feel more connected to people I care about most.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Blues

Postpartum depression occurs in an estimated 5 to 15 percent of new mothers. But this report suggests about 10 percent of dads may also suffer from depression within baby's first year.

Though postpartum depression in women is thought to be brought on by hormonal changes, it is suggested that men are affected by the financial stress and sleep deprevation that comes with a new baby.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bump Watch

Time flies... 26 weeks and counting! Baby now weighs 2 lbs. If only I could explain the other 16 lbs I've gained thus far. (?!?!?)


UPDATE: C reminds me that at least 5 lbs of my weight gain has to be from my boobs. These suckers are huge. Huge! I now know what it's like to be my sister.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

This is what nesting looks like, in case you were wondering

At 4:00 this afternoon, I felt the overwhelming urge to clean and re-organize all of my kitchen cabinets. There was absolutely no holding me back. Next up: the basement.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mea culpa

As it turns out, yesterday's blog post wasn't well received in some circles. To be clear, I didn't mean to imply that I'm still wishing for a girl. What I was trying to say is that I don't quite understand how to go about raising a boy. I'm certain that I'll pick it up along the way. But a mother/son relationship is one I can't comprehend quite yet.

I love my son. And when I hold him for the first time, I know I won't give boy vs. girl another thought. But until then, I can't help but wonder what being his mother will be like.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Truth About Boys

It seems horrible to say this out loud, but here it goes.

I really wanted a girl.

You always hear, "I just want a healthy baby!" Well yeah, duh. We all do. But you know that part of you is hoping for one sex or another.

So though I'm thrilled our baby is healthy and growing strong, part of me was disappointed when the ultrasound tech said "it's a boy!"

It took me a few days to wrap my head around it. I love our baby no matter what. But I really don't know what to do with a boy. I mean, I get girls. I lived it. And their clothes are so much cuter.

I was feeling like a horrible mother until a good friend confided that she felt the same way with her first. It's funny to feel sad about something so joyous. But there it was anyway. A twinge of disappointment. What gives?

It took some serious soul-searching before I realized that I wasn't mourning having a boy, I was mourning not being able to experience my own mother-daughter relationship. I have an incredible relationship with my mom. I assumed that what makes our bond great is that we're mother and daughter. But really it's that we're mother and child.

I can still take everything I learned from my mom and give it to my son. It isn't a relationship exclusive to mothers and daughters. But it's really the only one I know.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Registry Woes

Ben and I spent two hours at Target last night registering for baby. Considering there are only eight aisles of baby items, that's a really long time! There are just so many choices. Like literally an entire aisle of bottles. An entire aisle! How the hell are you supposed to pick?

To register for a baby you should be required to bring a veteran mom with you. Someone who can say, "nope, that's crap, you'll never use it" or "you need one of these, fo sho".

We managed to compile a decent list, but still, it was exausting. No where near as fun as when we registered for our wedding.

Monday, May 10, 2010

O Negative = A Positive

Get it? A positive? As in a good thing? I crack myself up.

We got Ben's blood results back. He's O negative, so we shouldn't have to get the Rhogam shot at 28 weeks. Woo hoo!

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Rhogam shot is standard practice for all Rh negative mothers. As my doctor explained it, it's cheaper to vaccinate every Rh negative mother than to have their partners' blood types tested. But that just didn't seem right to me. What if Ben and I had compatible blood types?

Now I'm not anti-vaccine. I got my flu shots as recommended, and I fully intend to vaccinate our child. Plus, Rhogam is vital when it's really needed. It prevents the mother's immune system from attacking her baby's red blood cells (if the baby is Rh positive).

What I have a problem with is doing something "just because." Blindly accepting a vaccine that may or may not be needed seemed crazy to me. Not everyone fits the same mold, in pregnancy or otherwise.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Apparently having kids makes you unhappy

Marketplace had a great editorial last night on happiness and parenthood. Apparently, adults with children report being less happy than their peers without children. Regardless of gender, marital status, religion, income or education level. Regardless of whether their kids are young or out of the house. Adults with children are statistically unhappier throughout their lives.

Hmmmm. A little concerning to the six month pregnant woman who has really enjoyed life to date.

The journalist argues that happiness is just one component of a "good life." And perhaps children offer a sense of fulfillment that isn't explicitly captured when a survey asks how happy you are.

Despite being an excited soon-to-be-mother, I know there are tough times ahead. Sleeping in and eating out will soon be things of the past. There will be significantly less money. And I am fully handing myself over to the needs of a small, squirming, helpless person.

So why do it? Why give up quality time with my husband, late nights with my girlfriends, disposable income and a flat stomach?

I guess I don't really know how to answer that. Other than I know in my heart that I want to be a mother. I want to have babies with my kind, funny, handsome, wonderful husband. And I want to give the unconditional love and support that I receive from my mother to my own children.

As parents we may be less happy. But the journalist challenges us to ask a different question. Knowing what you know now, would you still choose to have kids?

For most parents, the answer is still a resounding yes.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why water birth is the coolest

Ben and I had our water birth orientation and birth place tour last night. The nurses were fantastic, and it was great to see where the actual labor and delivery will take place.

My hospital (Mercy Medical Center) has done about 50 water births since 2007. That number seemed low to me (probably because I think the concept is so incredibly cool). But to do a water birth you can't have an epidural, which likely eliminates a huge portion of the birthing population.

Some of the benefits that really spoke to me:
  • Water birth speeds up labor
  • Water birth allows the mother to feel more in control
  • Water birth provides significant pain relief and promotes relaxation
  • Water birth conserves energy
  • Water birth reduces the need for drugs and other interventions
  • Water birth reduces perineal trauma and eliminates episiotomies
  • Water birth encourages an easier birth for mother and a gentler welcome for baby
Right on.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bump Watch

Getting bigger every day! Here's 24 weeks.

I'm holding the dress tight so you can actually see the bump, but this is one of my favorite outfits. The dress has an empire waist, with super cute pleating in the front.

My new greatest thrill is wearing non-maternity clothes that can accomodate my growing belly. This dress is just one of those items. Hopefully it still fits in a few weeks... I'd like to wear it to my cousin Jenny's wedding.

The "It's Always Sunny" Baby

I love It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. It's just so damn funny.

But who knew that Mac and Dee were an item in real life? They too are expecting a boy in August. Her "easy" pregnancy seems to mimic my own. And incidentally our son is also "really handsome." I'm going to pretend we're pregnancy BFFs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stella's New Ride

Check it out... Stella's got a sweet new ride!

As it turns out, baby and Great Dane do not fit easily in the back of four door sedan. So we traded in the 2002 Honda Accord (tear, she was a good car), and got this much roomier 2007 Buick Rendevous (which we lovingly refer to as "Ze Vous").

Stella is a little sad that she can't stick her head directly out of the window, but she's figured out a viable alternative.